Didn't know whether to blog about this as I can imagine a few disapproving comments. But I approached Intermediate in a similar way, dipping my toes in the pond, six months or so before I switched from Primary. I don't go to a Shala or have a teacher so I get to come up with my own way of approaching the practice. Intermediate will still be my main practice for a long time yet, at least until I get the same kind of flow I'm getting on Primary and can get through the series on the breath.
At the moment Intermediate, Standing through to Finishing is taking just over an hour not including dropbacks, so flowing a lot better than it was. The plan is to practice Intermediate four days a week, primary on Fridays and continue exploring 3rd on my day off (Tuesdays).
The pictures above are taken from Matthew Sweeney's Astanga Yoga As it is. I've been using this and Swenson's 3rd series DVD as a guide. The Sweeney book has a similar layout for Primary through to Advanced B and as well as another layout for each series that includes the vinyasa in between each asana . It has a nice layout of the Mysore back bending sequence as well as Standing and finishing. The first half of the book looks at several aspects of the practice including core postures, the nine drishti, the three bandhas, Jump backs and jump through, integrating your practice etc
So how was 3rd yesterday? OK actually, managed to stumble through the series, hard work but surprisingly my arms and shoulders don't ache this morning and I think I sweat more in Intermediate. Really enjoyed it, great series.
Want to list the asana with a short response to each so I can come back to this a few weeks from now and compare notes.
- Vasishthasana Have always found the side plank asana's tricky. Should be better at these as my arms and shoulders a pretty strong.
- Vishwamitrasana Can get the leg up against my arm but can't imagine ever getting the thing straight and looking elegant.
- Kashyapasana (or Kashyabasana) One of my favourites and something I've slipped into Intermediate after eka pada as it's such a nice stretch and makes Dwi pada easier.
- Chakorasana Able to do this both sides now thanks to all the LBH work In Vinyasa Krama.
- Bhairavasana As above thanks to VK I can do this too, though it's not pretty. Love the entry.
- Skandasana And again Thanks VK, happy with this one.
- Durvasana Gingerly manage to stand up but not vary straight, coming along though.
- Urdhva Kukkutasana A Have been doing these next three for awhile. I do the handstand version for A. Can come down and land it fine but not even trying to come back up yet.
- Urdhva Kukkutasana B Hardest of the three for me, my left knee is still a little tight ,so hard to get my lotus tight enough to get through. Managed it, but took three attempts.
- Urdhva Kukkutasana C Could be higher up my arms but happy with it for now.
- Galavasana Used to do this in The Rocket, can't hold it for more than three breaths though
- Eka Pada Bakasana A As above, having to work too hard as I don't get my leg high enough.
- Eka Pada Bakasana B Cute, like this one.
- Koundinyasana A Another old favourite from The rocket, seems harder getting in from Tripod
- Koundinyasana B As above these are bloody hard work to get back to tripod, fell out of both.
- Ashtavakrasana A Again, been doing this for a year or more on and off thanks to The Rocket but harder from Tripod.
- Ashtavakrasana B Much prefer coming down into this from handstand, relatively easy for me because of the half handstand jump through I do all the time.
- Purna Matsyendrasana Another I was doing in VK as part of a series, harder to jump straight into it, but doable.
- Viranchyasana A can just about get into this but don't want to push it so do a Swenson style variation for now and not even trying to lift it up. Like the idea of it though.
- Viranchyasana B This surprised me, again didn't want to push it but can see that it will come and will do some extra work on rolling my foot under
- Viparita Dandasana Was doing this in VK though I walk down the wall into it for now.
- Eka Pada Viparita Dandasana. Legs not vary straight but that will come
- Viparita Shalabhasana Again, was doing this in VK last couple of weeks though I approach it by a circular rout that involves pincha mayurasana, dont ask.
- Ganda Bherundasana Feet feel really close to my head.......untill I see it in a photo and realise I'm miles away
- Hanumanasana Still can't imagine being able to do this but taking Liz's advice and slipping it into Standing everyday now
- Supta Trivikramasana Embarrassing
- Dighasana A Easy to get into of course, hard to do well
- Dighasana B As above, makes me smile "Look I'm and Airplane" Want to flap my arms up and down.
- Trivikramasana Less said the better
- Natarajasana A Really look forward to being able to do this properly, can't reach over yet so doing the easy variation
- Raja Kapotasana Another from VK, a whole sub routine on this. but head miles away from my feet
- Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana Love that it ends on this. As with Intermediate's Kapo it'll take a lot of work to get this but such an elegant pose you really feel it's worth the work. Great to go into the backbend sequence following this no?